GYAN learning’s on “Engaging your supporters (donors/volunteers) effectively”

GYAN (Get Your Answers Now) is a highly customized unique training session for NGOs on very specific technical skills designed and delivered by senior professionals from the corporate sector who are volunteering their time and skills.

The training on “Engaging your supporters (Donors/volunteers) effectively” was conducted on 26th Aug 2013 in Chennai by Ms.Aarti Madhusudan, MSW from TISS and an M Phil from NIMHANS. She runs Governance Counts that focuses on helping NGOs build stronger Boards. She has volunteered with Give India for 12 years. She is now an active volunteer with the Joy of Giving Week.

8 participants from 7 NGOs attended the training.

Following are some learning’s shared by Mr.Murali, Founder & Managing Trustee, Sevalaya and a participant of GYAN session in Chennai.

1.When you go to meet anyone have full information of your organization.

2.Find out about the person whom you are going to meet; their interested cause, what is the budget, CSR focus, what they have done already

3.Meet the decision maker; if you meet someone else, find your way to the decision maker.

4.As soon as you meet, thank them for the appointment given and find out how much time they have. They might have given appointment for an hour, but will say they have 10 minutes only at the last moment.

5.Talk about them – “we came to know that you support such causes; you have already done a lot; your company is known for social consciousness” etc

6.Give references, if you have – best if the reference is already a supporter

7.Then talk about yourself – explain why you are doing this. People connect to other people first, not to causes. They donate if they trust you. Create that trust in you.

8.Then talk about your organization and specific projects where they can help – exact amount, we should have plan, estimation, quote etc.

9.If they can’t support, ask for references, ask when we can come back, ask what they would like to support

10.We can approach ford foundation, acumen foundation, many other manufacturing, real estate companies, traders – if their product is useful to us ask for the products

11.Show that you are cost conscious – do not handover many copies of annual reports, pamphlets etc – you can plan an abridged version of annual report also; The donor knows that it is his money which is being spent like this!

12.Ask if they have read the website – some people will just say yes – so also ask if they have any comments about the website, then you can guess if they have really read; if they have seen the website, don’t repeat all info

13.Make good videos of all activities – not more than 30 secs for each activity – mostly in the form of success stories and present that – this will have very good impact, than PPT

14.From 10 to 3 housewives – 4 to 7 – arts & science college students – anytime people who have just retired will be available for voluntary work. So select work which will suit them in this time.

15.Give specific jobs to volunteers and if they don’t complete in time, you can ask them to go. Even if they are volunteers, they must take up the job seriously. Otherwise it will be waste of time on both sides.

16.Spend time with volunteers and bring them upto speed.

17.Don’t make phone calls to unknown people and ask for money. This will not work.

18.Website has to be simple and there must be action buttons in each page. (Donate, Volunteer etc.)

19.Website should give separate details for donors, volunteers, etc – not all details to everyone

20.Instead of saying sponsor a child, say “sponsor Radha” and give Radha’s story. This will be a better connect for the donor.

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